Bowlive V, Brooklyn Bowl 2014

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Photo by: Dino Perrucci

Bowlive, Soulive’s two week residency, is ending it’s fifth year tonight at the infamous Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY.  I have been lucky enough to be able to catch all five years, and incredibly witness how each year seemingly gets better over the last year.

This year’s special guests have ranged from Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi and New Orleans’ legends George Porter Jr. and  Jon Cleary, to lesser known 11 year old savant’s from Brendan “TAZ” Neidermeyer, Eddie Roberts, Joe Russo, DMC and Talib Kweli, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger, Sonya Kitchell, and Nigel Hall.

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

The Shows: Admittedly, I have not been able to hit all the shows as I have in years past.  However, I can tell the nature of the Bowlive residency has mellowed into a well-known two weeks of throwdown funk, with surprise guests galore.  I use the word “mellowed” because the players (Neal Evans, keys; Eric Krasno, guitar; Alan Evans, drums) have seemingly settled into the pace of this particular run.  I am certainly not saying these shows are mellow, they are anything but mellow.  From the opening night two weeks ago, you can sense the excitement, the high energy building in the club.  The second night was frenzied, but no one seemed to realize that the show was going long to allow Warren Haynes to come from the Upper West Side where  the Allman’s were playing.  Those who either knew what was happening, or those who just hung out, were treated to a 4 song set that lasted well past 2am.

For me, my personal highlight were the ones I have attended.  First night (Thurs), vocalist and keyboardist Nigel Hall brought us back to the first few years of Bowlive where he was a nightly staple to the Soulive trio.

Third night (Sat), I was grateful to see George Porter Jr., bring his personal brand of funkiness to the stage, and the Soulive men tweak a little to the NOLA side of funk.  Add Eddie Roberts, from the New Mastersounds and The London Souls and this night was way up on the face melting scale. Here is a clip of the night before, when Warren Haynes stopped by:

Highlights: Night 4:  Jon Cleary & John Scofield John Scofield needs no introduction. He also has played with the Soulive trio for years, and the chemistry between the four men is palpable.  You can tell the Soulive men adore Scofield, and this bounces back from Sco to the Soulive guys.  The riffs that Krasno and Scofield throw at each other are mesmorizing.  I am not sure if I danced or just stood there with my mouth open.  I wish there was video to share with you.

John «Sco» Scofield  (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

John «Sco» Scofield (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

Highlights: Night 5: Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo, John Cleary.  “Turn on Your Lovelight”

THROWDOWN

The Food:  I ate the addictively delicious Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, but have to admit my new favorite is the Rock n Roll Fries.  I’ll let ya’ll in on a secret – it is fries and gravy with cheese on the bottom of the plate.  Fattening and delicious for sure.  With all the dancing I’ve done the past two weeks, I have no guilt at all.

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Tonight is the last night to catch BOWLIVE V.  Will you be there?  Hope to see you.  http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/470695-bowlive-v-soulive-brooklyn/

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Bowlive IV: Night 4, Brooklyn Bowl

Pre-show/During-show/Overall Bowling Notes:  I made it out on a Tuesday, even though I was quite spent from the work day, I went to see Bowlive IV with Booker T. and special unannounced guest David Hildago.

Since I was spent, I decided to get a cup of coffee from the restaurant. I saw a bunch of friends I knew including Eric Kalb (drummer, Deep Banana Blackout/Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings), and he called me a music addict.  “This girl sees a lot, I mean a lot of music.”  I laughed and acknowledged my addiction… and gave him props for the sick, sick DBB set last weekend at The Capitol Theatre.

We bowled, and I threw a horrendous score of 43.  Don’t judge. I am a better Wii bowler than a real bowler. Yes, I know, the amount of time I am at The Bowl does not equal my bowling score. I go to dance and hear music, not bowl.  I am glad all eyes were on the stage, some of my throws down the bowling alley caught air.  Whoops.

So, with the bowling, and the very mellow mood I was in, I relaxed on the couch and listened sidebar…till the end of the show.

Opener:  Have to say, it was a pretty incredible set from Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (Dap Kings) with about 1,000,000,000 players on the stage (ok, it was 9 players on the stage, but still pretty incredible.) There was Cheme alternating with a sax and flute and his band playing The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow, which sounded amazing to my ears. It was a mix of jazz/world beat music and it was such a great large sound to my ears.  The world beat brought in a new element from the inundation of funk/jazz we’ve been treated to.  Take my word, if you like horns and you like great percussion (2 percussionists and a drummer) and you like a mix of jazz/reggae/afrobeats, you’d love Cheme’s band.

photo by: Allison Murphy

photo by: Allison Murphy

Set 1 (and only 1, for a full 2+ hours)  I had seen a set list from the Beacon Allman shows, and Hildago was supposed to be there, but instead he showed up at The Brooklyn Bowl.  Lucky for us! Continue reading

Bowlive IV: Night 3, Brooklyn Bowl

I covered Bowlive IV, night 3 for The Royal Family Records.  My recap was on Brooklyn Bowl’s site and The Royal Family’s site, so that was cool.  Here’s the words below.  -M

Bowlive IV #3 Recap w/ Nigel Hall, James Casey, Igmar Thomas, and More : Tuesday’s 3/12 show w/ Booker T Jones & More

Bowlive alum Alecia Chakour Band opened the evening on this Bowlive Night 3.  Chakour had her own special guests, the stage was filled with musicians including Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (sax, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings) and Igmar Thomas (trumpet.)  Chakour’s vocals got the crowd ready for what was about to happen this evening.

By the time Soulive took the stage, it was a little after 10pm, the sold out crowd  loosened up with a funky, ten minute “Steppin.”  Kraz starts to soulfully play The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” before the stage erupts from Neal Evans’ keyboards.  During Kraz’s shredding solo, the audience were singing “All the lonely people” to the band.  What a moment!

Special guests James Casey (sax, Lettuce/Trey Anastasio Band), and Igmar Thomas, (trumpet) both from Bowlive’s past, joined the stage for “Lenny” and “Vapor”, where on Thomas was literally smoking his trumpet.  No Joke.

DJ Logic then joined the stage and spinned with Soulive on “Tuesday.”  Nigel Hall then came out to end the set, and played keys with Neal.  It was more like a Nigel/Neal keyboard showdown.  At first there were three hands on the keys, and that went into a dance, where Nigel and Neal switch sides with each other at the keyboard.  I thought I saw Nikki Glaspie (drums, Dumpstaphunk) peeking behind James Casey and Igmar Thomas with a tambourine in her hand.  The whole band was smiling, the crowd was smiling, it felt like family.  Someone told me it felt like home.  It was certainly beginning to feel that way.

Just when you thought it was setbreak, Alecia Chakour comes back on the stage to sing duet with Nigel.  If you haven’t seen them before, Alecia can sing exactly, on Nigel’s level with her heavy duty pipes and her vixen voice. At one point, Nigel gets on his knees and sings to Alecia, like he’s begging, the crowd goes nuts, the moment had finally arrived at the Bowl.  This was the quintessential Royal Family Records/Bowlive magic that has become commonplace here in Brooklyn in March. Continue reading

Bowlive 3, Night 1, 2.28.12

photo by: Michael Jurick

So, we’re back – the 3rd annual Bowlive held in Brooklyn’s own Brooklyn Bowl. This is the favorite time of year to be eating lots of fried chicken, hearing bowling pins crash while listening to some of today’s finest musicians in a room where only 600 can comfortably stand, or dance. The first night went off without a hitch. Here’s my recount – it gets increasingly harder to understand my notes as the night goes on….

Pre-show:
No real preshow for me. I got to the Bowl at around 8:15pm, the show didn’t start until 9pm. I dropped my coat and bag off, said some hellos, hit the ladies room, got a drink and settled in for the evening. Chatted with my friend and looked to the right of me, there was John Scofield talking with some people, no less than 4 feet from me. I noted it but couldn’t bring myself to gawk at him. He’s one of my guitar heroes-being so close to greatness made me nervous.

photo by: RuthRocks

First Set:
Soulive alone. The trio (Eric Krasno and brothers Neal and Alan Evans) just came off their three night Snowlive weekend in Boulder Colorado, and they sounded tight. Soulive usually sounds tight but tonight they sounded like they had tightened a few notches up. They played alone, and for the first few songs I was so enthralled I had forgotten guitarist John Scofield was going to join the stage.

The trio just nailed the first set of the Bowlive 3 run, my friend turned to me and said, “first set, eh?”. I laughed and shook my head. It had already gotten heavy with funk and bass… We were only a hour in.

Set break:

Bathroom Run. Smoke Break. Hit the bar. Get back near stage left.

photo by: RuthRocks

Set 2:

Alan introduces John Scofield onto the stage and off we go.

Nigel Hall joined Neal Evans on the keyboard before he grabbed the mic to sing a slow bluesy serenade.
Here are my notes on that:
Nigel slow serenade soulful sexy and raw. 10pm. Organ keys reverb right through The Brooklyn Bowl

Nigel wails. Scofield wails. Organ wails and a hot beat by Alan. Damn. Night 1 w the posse surrounding me, all goo love in the air.

First set. Jesus. It just started and it’s crazy funky souled up in here.

Scofield gives props to Soulive and particularly Nigel. Sweet. They go into Boozin’. Scofield is in love with Nigel. You can see it by his face.

Next, a crazy banter w Scofield and Neal. This rage officially melts the Bowl at 1022 pm.

Set Break: I’m kinda floating at this point. With permagrin wide I made it outside, chatted with friends, and realized I was starving. Good thing the Bowl has some good food.

I dropped my coat and winter crap back near my spot next to the stage and went for food. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had such an idea. So I hit the ladies room instead.

photo by: RuthRocks

Set 3:
Soulive comes on the stage, alone once again. I find a dark corner close my eyes and groove hard in anonymous land. I went there. But I was in dire need of food. So, off to the restaurant!

Food choice? The Beach french bread pizza. Oh my. Lord. Yum. Not for vegetarians but for a pork filled meat lovers delight? I highly recommend. Soulive plays while I wait for my pizza. Food!! Come quickly. They’re raging!

Continue reading

Coming Up: Saturday 10/15/11 – Royal Family Ball

This weekend is the Royal Family Ball starring Soulive and Lettuce, with special guests.  Last year, John Scofield showed up, with special surprise guest, Warren Haynes.  Wonder who this year’s Ball will bring out of the woodwork?

Last year, I covered the show for View Skewed, and, well, it blew my musical head apart.  Here’s the coverage of last year’s Ball:  http://wp.me/ppvLC-D0 Hopefully, people will dress like it’s a ball this year!  :)  And I hope to see you there.

Click here for tickets

-M

PhotoLog: Hendrix Tribute, Night 4 – Bowlive II

Jambands Review HERE

The First 8 Weeks of 2011 Music, NYC Bound

[Ed note: I have been lax in my habit of coming home and writing about every show I see.  Very lax.  That seemed to happen for only a few months in the beginning of this journey, but now it seems to be harder to do every show I see, (yes, I know – crybaby cry…)  I will try to sum up what’s been going on in NYC on these dreary wintery nights, where the snow piled high on cement streets, freezing cold winds slapping in my face…. Oh, whilst in the depths of winter, music will warm my bones…]

Bernie Worell, The Bitter End

That Bernie Worrell show with his whacked out jacket, jammin hard with a stage full’a fellas, Will Bernard, 2 saxs, great drummer, trumpet player from PFunk, in the tiny Bitter End club.

Umphree's McGee, Brooklyn Bowl

Umphree’s McGee and all their lightshow bonanza at the Brooklyn Bowl, phewwweee!  That was great fun, and their lights made the Brooklyn Bowl sparkle, there was a haze on the mirrored dance ball over the dance floor.  It was wild, they sounded great, the crowd was psyched and ready to roll with UMG’s surprise Monday night show.

Funky Meters, Brooklyn Bowl

Nigel Hall‘s, vocals/piano, Residency last Wednesday at the Rockwood with all the Royal Family members in the house and then to Brooklyn Bowl to see the funky Meters play with Brian Stoltz, Art Neville, Russell Batiste and George Porter, Jr., the late night at Bembe with some tasty DJ licks by Nutritious, where the night came full circle when Nigel Hall comes to bang on some congas and dance the night away.  Did I say this was a Wednesday…

The insane late night rage at the Blue Note with Sam Kininger, Sax that I wrote about here.

Dr. John, Maceo Parker, Eric Krazno, Photo by Allison Murphy

The killer Soul II Soul Benefit at Brooklyn Bowl with Nigel Hall and the Royal Family folks with Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley.  Horns in the HOUSE.  Dr. John on keys.  Good lord.  Insanity.  Listen here at Archive:

Photo by Robyn Gould

The night at The Beacon Theater with the gorgeous Dickinson Brothers, Cody (drums), and Luther (guitar) opening for Robert Plant’s Band of Joy.  WOW.  First off, the Dickinson Brothers (North Mississippi Allstars), wailed incredibly tight jams my ears couldn’t believe at times that there was only two instruments on the stage.  Then Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, his new band.  Really great to see Robert in the flesh, dancing and singing perfectly.  Voice sounds great, the band is filled with string instruments and great singers.  Sweetness.